Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, joined his counterparts from four other states today on a conference call to announce they are filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the federal health care plan.
Maryland Attorney General, Douglas Gansler, is leading the group and says their brief supports the portion of the healthcare plan that says Congress has the right to require people to buy insurance under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Miller spoke about why he supports the brief. “The healthcare industries across our system takes up one-sixth of our economy, of or our total economy, if anything is interstate commerce, it’s health care,” Miller says. “That gives I think the congress consistent with the court decision the authority to enact a comprehensive resolution.”
He continued, “You know there’s been some suggestion that there should be limits on the commerce power, particularly on the mandates of an individual, maybe there should, maybe there shouldn’t, but I would argue this is clearly not the case to explore the limits of the authority because of the massive amount of the economy that’s being taken up by the healthcare system.”
The other Attorney’s General involved are from California, Oregon and Vermont, and all are Democrats. Many Republican elected officials, including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, have spoken out against the healthcare law. Gansler was asked if the lack of Republicans supporting the brief indicates it is more of a political issue than a legal issue.
Gansler said the healthcare law has become political, but he says this brief is not political and is intended to help all states.